How to Import Japanese Cars to Britain

Step 1

Locate an exporter of the type of vehicle that you are interested in online using a service such as which connects you to reputable exporters. Avoid anyone who wants full payment upfront before shipping the vehicle. That person will help you locate and purchase your desired vehicle.

Step 2

Receive, complete and return a Pro-Forma Invoice to the exporter to finalize the purchase agreement. Verify the information on the Pro-Forma invoice is correct in regards to the vehicle and the financial details of the transaction. Fax the invoice back to the exporter to confirm the transaction. Submit payment to finalize the purchase and get the vehicle shipped. Receive vehicle documentation from the exporter confirming the vehicle has been shipped.

Step 3

Locate a Shipping Agent online or by visiting the customs office to get the vehicle cleared upon arrival from Japan (See Resources). Pay the shipping fee, the 10% Import Duty, Customs Duty and 17.5% Vat. Pay the Shipping Agent as well for the clearance services. Register the vehicle and prepare it for the SVA test by completing the Application form (See Resources).

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Step 4

If the vehicle is less than 10 years old it will need to pass the Single Vehicle Approval (SVA) inspection to make sure it is suitable for UK roadways. If it is over 10 years old it will need to be UK street complaint and need additional testing determined by the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) on location. Get the car compliant to meet UK regulations yourself or by taking it to a mechanic.

Step 5

Make sure the vehicle is left hand drive which most vehicle Japanese vehicles are and the headlights dip to the left. The speedometer must also reflect Miles per Hour not only Kilometers per Hour. A rear fog light must be fitted to the right side on the rear of the car. There must also be side indicators and rear seat belts fitted to the vehicle. Once the car passes inspection get it insured to legal drive it in the UK.